“A fabulous folly castle in Eden Valley, complete with turrets, grand bedrooms, and 20 acres of grounds - perfect for family adventures”
A longish gravel drive leads up from the lane. Lawns and sheep-filled meadows encircle you, beyond the Pennines rise majestically. Inside you find enormous rooms, creaking floorboards, vibrant colours and an easy-going house-party feel. The music room has an open fire, red leather armchairs, several sofas and a grand piano. The décor is ‘country house’, reassuringly traditional, but without the chintz.
- An impressive folly castle with imperious countryside all around
- Superb for families, with lots of large rooms and handy baby equipment
- A relaxed, easy-going feel - owners Simon and Wendy make you feel like you're king and queen of the castle
- Large shabbily authentic bedrooms and good home-cooked fare
- Some of Britain's most unspoilt walking; the Pennine Way and Coast to Coast footpaths pass close by
- Couples wanting a grown-up break may want to avoid booking during the school holidays
- Be sure to give a few hours' warning if you'd like afternoon tea
- It's not cheap and the extras can soon add up
- WiFi and phone signal can be patchy, but you're here for a getaway!
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast (+ dinner on request)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Tennis Court
Augill Castle’s rooms range from romantic doubles to self-contained cottages, converted from the old gatehouse and stables. Wherever you stay, expect thick swathes of curtain, old armoires, four-posters dressed in crisp linen, vintage luggage and the odd wall hanging. Don’t expect lots of chintz. Instead, you might find an Indonesian blow pipe, an old gramophone player or a wardrobe in a turret.
Those in the main castle are the most traditional: we stayed in Appleby, a large room with rich red walls at the end of the long corridor. It has creaky wooden steps down to a big bathroom with a four-poster tub (!) and a brilliant rainshower. We also loved the claw-foot tub in Derwent & Raisebeck
The old Orangery rooms offer huge arched windows; Greystoke’s pretty doorway is enchanting.
The converted outhouses are more modern, and have added privacy. We felt the Little Castle Estate House and The Stable House Estate House would be particularly great for families - you get your own front door, a little front garden and a simple galley kitchen.
Bathrooms sparkle and little extras include homemade biscuits, a decanter of ginger wine and a miniature bottle of whiskey from the Lakes Distillery. Wonderful.
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
The dining room at Augill is one of the highlights, an enormous, Baronial chamber with a plaster ribbed ceiling in blue and gold. Guests can choose to sit at the large communal oak dining table or at a private table in the Conservatory or Drawing Room.
The restaurant concept has changed since we last visited with the arrival of chef Justin Woods. He focuses on using local produce from the Eden Valley and surrounding area. From Tuesday to Saturday, he cooks a contemporary northern British menu (we like the sound of the eight-hour feather blade of beef, creamed potato, savoy cabbage, shallot, wild mushroom and red wine). Sunday is pizza night, serving up Cumbrian-infused Italian classic dishes with large salads and tiramisu; Monday sees seasonal two-course suppers. Sweet or savoury afternoon tea is available every day until 6pm (with or without bubbles).
After our meal, we relaxed at the castle’s Great British Bar (in the Conservatory), which only stocks drinks from independent British producers. Simon and Wendy will happily recommend something for you based on your tastes - maybe a cocktail or two. We enjoyed a delicious Lemon Bon Bon made with toffee vodka.
In the morning, our breakfast took a good hour to devour: fruit and porridge, freshly-squeezed orange juice, homemade breads and croissants, Cumberland bacon, Augill Eggs Florentine and Cumbrian Rarebit.
- Children's meals
- Communal dining
- Dinner by arrangement
- The Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumbrian National Park are all on your doorstep; Hadrian’s Wall is also close
- The Pennines lie behind you, so follow ancient footpaths and walk your socks off
- Alternatively, stay at the castle and play croquet on the lawn or tennis at the back
- Afternoon teas are available daily, and are particularly tempting when taken in the garden during summer
- Catch a movie in the 12-seat cinema - you can buy popcorn, too!
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
Augill Castle extends a warm welcome to younger guests with a friendly teddy bear on their bed on arrival, and a library filled with books, toys and a bulging dressing up box. And what could be more exciting for any child than staying in a real castle?!
Your're also well placed for outdoorsy activities in the Lake District, whether that's learning to sail like Swallows and Amazons or trying out the newer attractions like the Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine.
Family friendly accommodation:
So many options. The Orangery Family Suite sleeps up to 4; The Stable House Estate House and Little Castle Estate House offer more privacy and separate bedrooms for parents and kids. Interconnecting Derwent & Raisebeck are good option for families with older children. Book the whole place out for a big family gathering!
Baby monitor available.
- Baby cots
- High chairs
- Nappy disposal unit
- Disposable changing mats
- Nappy cream and talcum powder
- Baby bubble bath
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Very flexible when it comes to eating - the 'Four Counties' menu includes children's dishes, afternoon tea and crowd-pleasing suppers. At breakfast, the delicious banana and chocolate chip muffins were a big hit with our baby son. Plastic bowls, plates, cups and toddler cutlery are provided when you order something for your child.
There is also a small galley kitchen in the main building with a fridge, microwave, kettle and 2 hobs. This was brilliant for us as we could store and heat up milk for bedtime and it would be perfect making very very simple snacks - handy if you have early risers who can't wait until breakfast.
Kids Activities on site:
- Teddy bear on bed
- Den, playground and games room
- Tennis court
- Toys for all ages
- Children's books and DVDs
- Castle to explore
- Resident animals: hens, dogs
- Dressing up clothes
- Mini beast safaris
Kids Activities nearby:
- Hiking and mountaineering
- Lake District fun: kayaking, swimming and sailing
- Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine
- Go Ape
Families Should Know:
Plenty of antiques to mind and staircases that aren't gated; this is a unique old house and hasn't been 'health and safety'd' to death, perish the thought.
- Airport: 2 hours
- Doctor: 15 minutes
Augill Castle is located 6 miles from Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria's Eden Valley. Ten minutes to the south are the Yorkshire Dales and half an hour to the west is the Lake District.
Teesside International (68km) is 45 minutes’ drive or Newcastle International (125km) is 75 minutes away. Click on the links below for a list of airlines.
Take M6 exit junction 38, then A685 north through Kirkby Stephen. Just before Brough, take right signed South Stainmore; house is signed on left after 1 mile. If you want to hire a car, see our car rental recommendations.
The nearest train station is Kirkby Stephen, which is on the Settle-Carlisle line, with the only direct route from Leeds & Carlisle. Darlington, which is on the east coast line, is 50 minutes away & Penrith, which is on the west coast line, is 30 minutes away.
Please note public transport is very limited in this area.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Teesside International 68.0 km MME
- Newcastle International 125.0 km NCL
- Beach 70.0 km
- Shops 3.0 km
- Restaurant 3.0 km